Monday, June 28, 2010

Six short updates on social media audiences

This summer's seen a rush of new reports and updates on social media audiences.  Here are five worth your attention, plus one post about audiences and their expectations.  You'll find special notes for communicators interested in international, community, nonprofit and and other audiences in this mix:

  1. Want the quick, updated skinny on whom Facebook is reaching and how?  Bookmark the Facebook statistics page, and watch for updates.  Current gems: More than one million websites have now integrated with the Facebook platform (many with the new "like" button), and more than 100 million active users currently access Facebook through their mobile devices. Mobile users are "twice more active on Facebook than non-mobile users."  Inside Facebook offers more data on a regular basis, and is worth following. 
  2. International reach is creating much of the new growth on LinkedIn, now at 70 million users, and on Facebook, Indonesia is poised to pass the United Kingdom as the country with the second-largest number of Facebook users.  Nielsen's latest report notes that social networks and blogs account for 22 percent of time spent online, and "for the first time ever, social network or blog sites are visited by three quarters of global consumers who go online."  Now that's a global reach.
  3. Online video continues strong, and the new Pew report on the state of online video notes that slightly half of all U.S. adults have viewed or downloaded video online.  This post from The Agitator notes that educational and political videos are competitive with humor, movie and TV shows online; the mainstream New York Times chose to emphasize that more than half have downloaded humorous videos, although only a few percentage points separate the categories.
  4. Neighborhoods are talking over the digital fence, in a new twist on local coverage, according to Pew's "Neighbors Online" report. (Communicators with community relations responsibilities, heads up:  You'll want to engage local communities using this data.) This post from Local Media Watch notes the growth in neighbor sites that focus on neighborhood associations.
  5. A different slice of data on who's using social media and how comes from Edison Research via this post from Silicon Alley Insider; it shares a series of slides and charts that break down usage data for online video, podcasts, social networks, mobile devices, music sites, and more.
Perhaps more important than the numbers: Social media options are raising consumer expectations for sophisticated, easy and free options for sharing, collaborating, and participating in online conversations, according to this Silicon Alley Insider post. It's discussed here in terms of the threat to companies like Microsoft, but the lessons apply to more companies and organizations.

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